WASHINGTON, D.C.—The White House received the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act today, Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Ind-MP) announced. The President now has 10 days in which to sign the bill, veto it, or let it become law without his signature. The final day for action is July 24.
“The White House contacted the Washington congressional office this morning to let us know the bill had been received and that the 10-day clock was now running for the President to make his decision,” Sablan said.
“Yesterday, Senator Hatch, as President pro tempore of the Senate signed the enrolled bill. The day before Speaker pro tempore Mr. Mitchell signed for the House. So, the process has moved along swiftly now that Congress is back in session.”
The House passed the U.S. Workforce Act on June 5 and the Senate acted on June 28, minutes before Congress recessed for the Independence Day break. Before any legislation passed by Congress is sent to the President for action, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, or their designees, must first sign the enrolled bill.
Looking ahead, Sablan said he is already in discussion with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services about quickly re-opening the application window for FY 2019 CW permits. The Trump administration cut the number of CW permits for 2019 in half, to 4,999, leaving many Marianas businesses without needed workers.
The U.S. Workforce Act raises the number of permits for 2019 to 13,000.
“Now, we want to be sure our local businesses and the workers, who were unable to renew for 2019, are able to get applications in immediately to take advantage of the extra 8,001 CW permits that we made available in the U.S. Workforce Act,” said Sablan. (PR)